STARWOOD Hotels & Resorts has concluded the month-long immersion of its senior leadership team in Dubai, from where over 200 of the company's senior leaders and general managers ran day-to-day operations.
In March, Starwood president and CEO, Frits van Paasschen, and members of the senior leadership team met with 3,000 associates, conducted close to 50 owner meetings and visited all 14 Starwood properties in the city.
The team also rendezvoused with government officials and potential development partners in fast-growing markets of 19 cities across 12 countries, including Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and India. Executives also met up with more than 150 corporate and leisure customers who drive business to hotels globally.
This is Starwood’s second leadership move after a similar one in China in June 2011.
“With 80 per cent of Starwood’s pipeline coming from rapidly growing markets, it’s important for us to remain at the forefront of new travel demands and changing travel patterns,” said Simon Turner, president of global development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
“The Middle East is experiencing rapid economic growth, a growing middle class and ever greater global connectivity, and the Dubai relocation will help us expand all of our brands across this important region.”
Starwood last month announced plans to grow its Middle East and Africa portfolio by over 60 per cent, with almost 50 new properties hitting the market within the next five years, offering 14,000 more guestrooms in the region.
The number of properties operated by Starwood in the Middle East and Africa is likely to cross 100 by 2015, with 82 currently in operation and more than 20 set to launch by then.